Corporate Giving: Tips for Assessing Impact

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Corporate Giving: Tips for Assessing Impact

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#CorporateGiving: @Versaic Shares Tips for Assessing Impact #philanthropy #tech #CSR #AskAndy

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Friday, August 19, 2016 - 1:00pm

CAMPAIGN: Getting to Impact


Dear Andy: My organization is spending money on grants, donations, and sponsorships. The problem is we don’t have any idea whether we’re having the impact we’d hoped for. Further, my team is constantly being asked by executives for reports that slice & dice data we don’t even collect. How can we assess the full impact of our Corporate Giving? ----- Lost with Zero Visibility

Dear Lost: There is no doubt about it, measuring impact takes work. It’s not easy and yet is more important than ever. According to a recent report from CECP, measuring outcomes has become a more widespread practice, with some 87 percent of companies undertaking some level of impact measurement (up from 79 percent in 2013.)

The good news? Technology has advanced. There are tools available to help you understand how your company is making a difference in the communities you are serving. Using impact reporting technology, leading brands are able to gain insights into their spending, assess how those grants or donations map to their criteria for support and ultimately make more informed decisions.

A good impact reporting tool requests and collects the data directly from non-profit partners automatically so you get accurate and timely information about results of every donation or grant you’ve made. Since data is collected regularly and automatically across the organization, it’s possible to create up-to-date reports on any region, product group, store or program.

Yet to truly understand your impact, reporting is only a piece of the puzzle. Reports alone can’t provide the grantmaker with the deeper insight on the impact they're having. One of the benefits of an automated system is that it frees up time for much-needed conversations with your grantees and community partners to find out how they’re progressing and what support they need to accomplish outcomes. For many corporate giving managers, this is a game-changer. Freed from pushing paper, they’re able to find time to think strategically and collaborate with their community partners to increase impact.

It often helps to select a software partner who can help you think through the process and make sure the system you’re using captures the data you need, when you need it, in a format that will help you analyze outcomes and make better decisions.

Remember, impact isn’t a finish line, it’s a continuous cycle. As you achieve greater impact you will undoubtedly uncover new ideas to go even further. And you will undoubtedly require changes to the program and to the software measuring outcomes. The right partner is just as essential as the solution itself!

Hope this helps!

Andy has worked with hundreds of clients on how to get the best out of their philanthropy management system. Do you have a request or project management work issue? Ask Andy! Email your question Anonymity included.